Check-In: We were greeted in the lobby with glasses of champagne and cool washcloths, excited to begin our vacation. Our suite, a partial ocean view overlooking the main pool and hotel grounds, was available, and we were ready to get settled and explore, Silversands is known for its great service, and our entire check-in process was relatively quick and full of friendly staff members.
The property: The grounds are well-maintained, and the crew is constantly working to keep the landscaping in pristine condition. The eight pools scattered throughout the resort also really add to the relaxing feel and provide many options for quiet solitude or bustling activity. It is not a very large resort, and everything you really need is centrally located with most restaurants in the lobby area. The resort does not have an abundance of vegetation so bugs are not usually an issue here - but I would still recommend packing bug spray!
The room: The suites at Silversands are among the largest in Riviera Maya and are decorated in a sleek, modern design with light neutral colors that give the resort an air of sophistication. The balcony is also extremely spacious with ample seating, but we did not use it because of the very high walls and lack of view when seated. The bathroom, like everything else, is large and features a walk-in shower, jacuzzi tub, and vanity area with double sinks. The door from the tub can be opened to the rest of the living and sleeping area. Housekeeping generally did not appear until later in the day, which wasn't ideal for us early risers, but they did a great job keeping everything tidy. (We are pretty clean on vacation, so our room is usually pretty simple!)
The food: We found both the food quality and presentation to be fantastic, and the number of options in the buffet and restaurants was great - there really is something for everyone. The chefs worked with me to create vegan dishes, and I was blown away by some of the meals that were prepared for me. A good indicator of great food at a resort: if the vegan is eating really well, everyone else is eating well too! Check out my full vegan dining review here.
World Cafe: Buffet breakfast and lunch were served here with many prepared dishes ready to eat, along with several made-to-order stations available as well. Each day at lunch a various cuisine was featured, but don't worry...more traditional foods are always available.
Restaurants for dinner include: El Patio (Mexican), Bordeaux (French), Himitsu (Pan-Asian), Oceana (seafood), Portofino (Italian), Ratatouille (Mediterranean), and Seaside Grill (seafood). For our three dinners, we chose to eat at El Patio, Ratatouille, and Himitsu - all of our meals were delicious. Coco Cafe serves coffee and snacks. Sugar Reef serves sandwiches and snack items near the pool area.
One of the greatest features of Secrets Silversands (and all AMResorts) is NO DINNER RESERVATIONS! If you have stayed at a resort that requires dining reservations, you can truly appreciate how awesome this is. We dined most evenings around seven o'clock and never had to wait for a table.
The entertainment: Entertainment is not a strong feature at Silversands, but that did not negatively affect our time there. Activities during the day were not as numerous as other resorts, but generally revolved around sports and fitness or food and drink. While we were there, the guests did not seem too into participating, although the mixology classes were always filled. Activities included: yoga, water aerobics, cooking demonstrations, drink mixing classes, movies under the stars, etc. The evening shows were just not good.
Health and fitness: My husband and I keep a pretty active and healthy lifestyle, so we are those people who pack workout clothes and tennis shoes on our travels. The gym at Silversands is mediocre, and the smell and warmth of the room did not motivate me to use it while there. The property is not great for jogging (not many are) but the beach is an option. Water aerobics, Zumba, yoga, and dance classes were offered. Rather than exercise (although I did water aerobics one morning) I quickly became a slug in a beach chair with a book in her hand, alternating between pages and naps.
The service: Excellent, usually! This is where Silversands really shines - I hear it constantly from clients, and we have experienced it for ourselves. The staff was very friendly, and we made a point to tip at the buffet, restaurants, and for the pool bar service. Tipping is not required, nor should your service vary if you choose not to, but we feel that for as hard as the staff works at the resort, we are happy to tip.
The swimming pools and beach: The pools are numerous at the resort, and each one has a completely different feel; this is great depending on your mood and what sort of atmosphere you are looking for. Some are quiet, especially the ones tucked into the resort, and the main pool has music and entertainment...it's where all of the action is. The infinity pool features great views of the Caribbean, as does the large jacuzzi, and the ocean front swim out suites are a great option if you want the view and the pool. The beach is not a great selling feature of the resort, but it is good enough. The gazebo used for weddings and yoga is quite nice. Wi-Fi worked perfectly near the pool area, and I was able to enjoy streaming music on my iPhone. Again, a great little perk of the resort!
Pros: Close to the airport, large and clean accommodations, fantastic food and service, nice-sized resort, great for groups/weddings, awesome pools, outstanding Wi-Fi, bugs generally a non-issue, usually prices well for an adults-only resort
Cons: Not quite as romantic as other Secrets resorts if you're looking for a more romantic feel (it tends to draw groups as well as couples, while some Secrets resorts are mostly couples), beach isn't as great as other resorts, entertainment, fitness center
Verdict: We would definitely return! I have had many happy clients stay at Secrets Silversands, and everyone raves about it. Even with a couple of negatives, Brian and I would be very happy spending future vacations at with Secrets Silversands and its staff.